Washington (Sept. 9, 2002) -- After promising to get tough with attorneys who defend companies and individuals in actions with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the financial regulator passed a measure last week that would toughen penalties in cases heard before commission judges.

The rule, passed unanimously, means the SEC commissioners would have the latitude to consider whether increasing punishment is "in the public interest" in individual cases.

--Electronic Accountant Newswire staff

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